What is the latest clinical advice on how much water to drink a day?
The National Health Service (NHS) advises that, in climates such as the UK, we should be drinking around 1-2 litres of water. That’s roughly six to eight glasses a day. In hotter climates, the body will usually need more than this.
What happens if I don’t drink enough water?
If you don’t drink enough water, your body will become dehydrated. It occurs when you’re body is losing more water than it is gaining. The severity of the dehydration is dictated by the amount of water lost and not replaced.
Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, tiredness, dry mouth, lips and eyes and small amounts of urine passing infrequently. These are signs of your body trying to conserve water.
Drinking water should reverse the effects.
What are the health benefits of drinking more water?
Water is involved in many metabolic processes in your body and being dehydrated has the potential to slow your metabolism down which can hamper weight loss.
There’s also a theory that having a glass of water before a meal can make you feel satisfied faster, meaning you eat less calories. A 2010 study by the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise in Virginia confirmed this connection, showing that water consumption acutely reduces meal energy intake among middle-aged and older adults.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes. If you don’t have enough water in your body already, the large intestine soaks up water from your food waste, making stools hard and difficult to pass.
Increasing fluid can relieve constipation.
Improves physical performance
When we exercise we lose a lot of water through sweat. Ensuring you’re hydrated before intense activity can help you perform at your absolute best.